A lot of burglaries are carried out on the spur of the moment by opportunistic thieves - they may see an open window or easy entry point and take their chance – so the more difficult you make it for thieves the less likely you are to be burgled.
Home security measures are the best way of reducing the chance of being burgled. For relatively little cost and by taking some basic precautions you can protect your property and make it difficult for the burglar.
Tips on how to discourage burglars
When you go out, make sure you lock your doors (front and back) and close your windows, even if you are going out for a short time - in many burglaries it can take the thief just five minutes to break in, steal property and leave.
Window locks are relatively inexpensive and when installed, especially on older windows, will help stop people getting in and can serve as a deterrent to any would-be burglar - they are less likely to break in if they have to smash a window.
Deadlocks fitted to doors make it difficult for a thief to gain entry to your property and also make it harder for them to get out. If you have deadlocks installed, remember to use them - but don't leave the key near the door or in an obvious place. If you do not have them, consider getting a 5-lever mortice deadlock (to BS3621 standard) fitted.
Televisions, stereos and other valuables are attractive to thieves especially if they are on view from the outside. Try to ensure that valuable items cannot be seen through windows from outside. And when buying new items like DVD players or video recorders, do not leave the empty boxes on display near your bins.
- Make a list of all valuable items. Take pictures of all valuable items like jewellery and silverware and write down the serial numbers of your TV, video, hi-fi, home computer and camera equipment, to help the police identify them should they be recovered.
Taking steps to increase the security of your home will reduce the chances of being burgled. But should you return home and notice signs of a break-in:
- Do not go in or call out - there is a possibility that the intruder may still be inside
- Go to a neighbour's house to call the police.
For more detailed information about securing your home and advice on what security devices are available, contact your local crime prevention officer through your local police station on 0116 222 2222 or visit the Police website.